There are so many myths associated with chocolate that it’s difficult to figure out its real health benefits or harms.
Scientists study chocolate, adults love children.
Harmful or useful is this delicacy - sweet greetings from the long-gone mysterious Mayans?
Chocolate: composition, calorie content, as used
Modern chocolate bars have little to do with chocolate, which Americans and Europeans loved after the triumphant return of Columbus and the conquest of the Americas. The Aztecs brewed sugarless chocolatl, a thickening drink with maize flour. It was unlikely to enjoy, but were cheerful, cheerful and healthy.
For a long time in Europe (America too) chocolate was known as a drink, whose recipe was kept in the strictest confidence. Medieval Spaniards, for example, without trial, chopped off the heads of irresponsible citizens who dared to brew chocolate without a separate permit. Still would! State Secret ...
For a very long time, cocoa beans were so expensive that only a person of royal blood could afford a cup of a drink. By the end of the 19th century, a recipe for hard chocolate was developed that brought down the markets for sugar and cocoa. Since then, you can buy chocolate bar without any problems.
Modern chocolate is produced in three types: dark (or black), milk and white. Tiles vary in both color and quality, i.e. composition.
Dark chocolate contains:
• grated natural cocoa beans in powder form;
• cocoa oil;
In dark chocolate maximum amount of valuable nutrients. The taste of the product is more bitter, rich, bright. The content of cocoa beans in the product is at least 55 percent. It has organic acids, dietary fiber, saturated fatty acids, and starch.
The benefits of dark chocolate are explained by the content of B, E, PP vitamins, as well as minerals: potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, iron.
In milk chocolate part of the natural powder obtained from beans replaces milk powder. Hence a more “pale” look, a less bitter taste, a clear creamy shade. The solid components in the product should be at least 25 percent, in quality chocolate - up to fifty.
In white chocolate there is no cocoa powder at all. However, to refuse his involvement in chocolate is still impossible. After all, the product includes cocoa butter (at least 20 percent), milk powder or condensed milk (14 percent), milk fat (about four percent), sugar (55 percent).
The calorie content of chocolate, regardless of type, is approximately the same: 540-550 kcal per hundred grams. Lot? Of course. But if you limit yourself to 25-50 grams of goodies per day, for a healthy person without an allergy to cocoa products, there will be no harm from chocolate, but there is a lot of benefit.
Chocolate: what are the benefits for the body?
The benefits of chocolate are in cocoa beans. Therefore, the bitter varieties of goodies are certainly more healthy than dairy. The beneficial properties of bitter or dark chocolate are colossal:
• It contains antioxidant substances (procyanides, flavonoids, epicatechins). It is these natural substances that protect the body from free radicals, preventing the formation of cancerous tumors;
• due to the high content of polyphenols, caffeine, theobromine, the benefits of chocolate for the body are manifested in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases;
• reduces the risk of sudden strokes and heart attacks, as it effectively prevents thrombosis;
• reduces the risk of acquiring diabetes due to the fact that it normalizes the process of sugar absorption;
• stabilizes blood pressure, normalizes the functioning of the heart muscles;
• increases the elasticity of blood vessels;
• known the benefits of chocolate for the health of people suffering from inflammatory diseases of the autoimmune system, arthritis;
• polyunsaturated acids contained in chocolate, including oleic, stearic acids, remove "bad" cholesterol;
• stimulates the activity of the brain, improves the quality of intellectual work, improves memory, especially in old age;
• possesses a general strengthening effect due to the high content of the vitamin complex.
Many have heard that chocolate treats depression, and it really is. A piece of healthy treat helps the production of endorphins and serotonins - “hormones of happiness”, which really increase mood, relieve depressive states. The use of chocolate for the body in this sense is undeniable.
And here is the conventional wisdom about the dangers of chocolate for teeth and gums nothing more than a myth. Allegedly a sweet product destroys tooth enamel. In fact, the dark variety product contains a natural antiseptic that improves the condition of the oral mucosa, disinfects gums, reduces the growth rate of tartar, and prevents tooth decay.
The list of myths about the dangers of chocolate is supplemented by two more unfounded allegations.
1. Acne appears from chocolate. In fact, rashes are a consequence of hormonal system dysfunction, a malfunction of the skin.
2. Chocolate causes allergies. Chocolate itself rarely causes allergies, but it can really be strengthened.
The health benefits of chocolate also lie in the fact that it stimulates the digestive processes and intestinal motility, and prevents the formation of ulcers. A sufficient dose is 50 grams of product per day.
By the way, the same amount is enough to to prevent the formation of cancer cells. The Japanese follow the “50 grams” rule scrupulously: every day the inhabitants of the islands take their dose of sweet medicine. Cancer and ulcers are a rare disease for them.
Chocolate: what is the harm to health?
Despite its undoubted health benefits, chocolate can be harmful. First of all, due to the sugar content. Diabetics, alas, cannot be eaten.
Have to give up chocolate and overweight people. In any case, they definitely can’t eat milk and white chocolate, but a bitter slice from time to time will not do much harm.
Due to the ability to enhance allergies, you can not eat chocolate during an exacerbation of the disease and antihistamine treatment. When the symptoms disappear, and the result of treatment is fixed, you can sometimes indulge in chocolate, but only with the permission of the doctor.
But if a true allergy to cocoa beans or any component contained in the sweet bar is revealed, you will have to forego the use of chocolate forever.
For pregnant and lactating mothers: the harm of chocolate
Eat or not eat chocolate for pregnant women and nursing mothers? The question is complex, even if it is easy to relate to its "interesting position" on the principle of "pregnancy is not a disease!"
What do the doctors say?
The benefits of chocolate for the body of a pregnant woman are as follows:
• magnesium strengthens nerves, boosts immune defense, and relieves anxiety. It is also useful for the fetus, as it has a positive effect on brain formation;
• potassium normalizes pressure and metabolic processes;
• strengthen the body of the expectant mother and flavonoids;
• theobromine stimulates the work of the heart;
• vitamins, macronutrients necessary for a woman’s body in position, eat in chocolate. Iron is useful for the formation of the body of the unborn baby.
The beneficial properties of chocolate are due primarily to its composition. Since chocolate reduces anxiety, it is unlikely that the newborn will cause mom to worry with crying and tantrums. The kid will grow up calm.
Of course, we are talking about dark chocolate. His pregnant woman can eat a little.
On the other hand, the harm of chocolate to the body of a pregnant woman can also be significant.
• It is necessary to refuse a product during gestation if relatives have an allergy to this product. They are not joking with allergies.
• Caffeine, which is found in chocolate bars, can damage the health of both the mother and the fetus. In addition, it can cause insomnia.
• When drinking a lot of chocolate, there is a high probability of increased heartburn, which affects almost all pregnant women.
• The abuse of chocolate, including bitter chocolate, can reduce the intensity of blood supply to the uterus and cause fetal oxygen starvation.
Low-quality chocolate, in which cocoa butter is replaced with hydrogenated fats and vegetable oil, will not bring the body any benefit, only extra calories. Excess weight during pregnancy can complicate its course.
Refuse chocolate costs in the second and third trimesterwhen there is an intensive formation of the immune system of the unborn baby. There is a high probability that the child’s immunity will be weakened, there will be problems with the intestines, skin rashes.
During breastfeeding, it is better to refuse the use of chocolate, in any case within two to three months after the birth of the baby. This will help avoid unnecessary bowel problems.
Chocolate for kids: healthy or bad
Pediatricians do not recommend giving babies chocolate until the age of three. Until this time, immunity is formed, and extra loads are useless. The content of nitrogen compounds in chocolate can disrupt the metabolic processes in the body of the child.
By the age of three, the body is already sufficiently formed to gradually join the "adult" food. A child is able to master one hundred grams of real dark chocolate a week without harming himself.
The benefits of chocolate for the baby's body:
• the presence of potassium and phosphorus has a beneficial effect on the nervous and cardiovascular system of the child's body, its formation and development;
• high quality dark chocolate is good for intestinal function;
• the product improves mood, so a small dose of chocolate can calm the crybaby;
• chocolate is good for teeth, because cocoa butter, enveloping the teeth, prevents tooth decay.
However, the baby’s body chocolate harm can cause real:
• cause allergies, sometimes very serious (up to bronchospasm). Therefore, babies with a history of allergies are forbidden to give chocolate;
• sugar can cause obesity, disrupt the pancreas, and this is a direct harm to chocolate;
• In addition, a large amount of sugar can lead to abdominal pain, nausea, heartburn due to increased production of gastric juice.
It is very important to observe some rules for the use of chocolate by young children. Firstly, it is forbidden to give even a small amount of delicacies on an empty stomach.
Secondly, children can only eat milk chocolate. Black is too saturated with theobromine - an alkaloid by which a child can actually poison. Such poisoning is fraught with vomiting, disruption of the digestive tract, headache, nausea.
Chocolate: harm for losing weight
Milk and white chocolate will cause harm to weight loss due to the high content of sugar and fat. It is definitely impossible to eat such a product on a diet, because just a few pieces of sweet fat treats can nullify a week or two of an intense fight against fat.
As for dark chocolate, you can still argue. The fact is that such a delicacy can dull the feeling of hunger and really reduce appetite. And this will allow you to more confidently control weight, reduce cravings for fast carbohydrates. Therefore, if a person seeks to maintain a figure in good condition, then regardless of the calorie content of chocolate, a small amount of chocolate is more likely to benefit.
A useful property of chocolate when losing weight is its ability to quickly satisfy hunger and give the body a lot of energy. The presence of potassium and magnesium makes the product useful even when overweight.
The harm of chocolate for weight loss is the accumulation of excess carbohydrates in the form of fat. In this sense, milk and white chocolate are the most dangerous. But black chocolate bars, despite the high calorie content of chocolate, in reasonable sizes (no more than 25 grams per day), on the contrary, contribute to weight loss due to phenols and caffeine, which have fat-burning properties.
Chocolate is useful or harmful, depending on the state of the body. Used in moderation, it will only benefit a healthy person.